A Sunday in hell (for some)

I got up early to get the bikes out of the truck and pump the tires, put the spare bikes and spare wheels on the car. Same as I always do for any day we have a caravan car in the race. There was a crowd around the truck and around the entrance to the hotel. Most of whom wanted to see Lance and/or get his autograph. Unfortunately for the public many did not know that he stayed at another hotel. As people were waiting for him to appear from the direction of the hotel a guy rolled up to the team van on a cruiser. Lance incognito with a sweater and a ball cap took most for a surprise and few saw/recognised him. Kinda funny. He even entered the hotel without much notice. Most did not see him go IN as they were waiting for him to come OUT. Finally after the team meeting in Frankie’s room the riders came out including Lance. He was almost mobbed but the cool thing is that the American fans were much more cordial than the Euro counterparts. In Europe they practically run him over to get a picture or autograph. So it was nice t see the crowd be patient enough to wait in a (sort of) line.
In the Tour de France the mechanics roll is the same every day. The same two mechanics go to the hotel every day and the same two mechanics go in (one in each car) the two caravan cars every day. Since Geoff was caravan car guy in the tour, I knew I was assured of getting to go in the car so he did not have to. I was hoping I would actually as I wanted to see this hellish course.
As many of you saw the race was hard and very exciting. The crowds were incredible. On the Taylor Street climb it was just as crazy as the harder climb. At the top of Taylor Street past the turn at the top (as the course turned left) you could see (straight up the hill) past the turn to a completely full street. It seemed a great place to watch them come to the corner and turn in front of those standing there. Great way to see them suffer up the entire climb up Taylor. OUCH!!! This was a true Sunday In Hell (for some) !!!!!!!!!!
I’m normally a sleeper guy. Meaning, I LOVE to take a nap in the car during the race. Part due to the fact that I usually work hard the days before the race and part due to the motion of the vehicle (or plane or train or whatever) which makes me sleepy. Kinda rocks me to sleep. I knew today was going to be different. I did take short nap but the race was so cool and the crowds were so crazy and loud that I had to try to stay awake to see all the action.
I now feel like I’m rounding second base on my way home as I only have one day of racing to go before my fun season with US Postal is comes to an end.


Owner of Promechanics.com and long time professional race mechanic.